Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Opus 2011-336, Basic Beliefs: Life After Death

Christians believe that life does not end when the body stops working.  We look forward to the resurrection which I have already touched on.  What happens after that?  One of the words we use is “heaven.”  It is usually a concept that is misunderstood and, frankly, wrong.

First, lets look at the average, everyday view of heaven.  It usually shows up in cartoons involving lots of clouds, white robes, wings and harps.  Sometimes it involves a guy playing Peter, God behind a desk or angels of some age.  There are often pearly gates and a big book.  Taken individually vague hints of each of these can be found in the Bible.  They don’t, however, generally come together as a description of what eternal life will be like for us.  When put together in the popular image they become totally false.

If “Heaven” in the popular culture is not a Christian concept, what does the Bible teach? 

First, we have the physical resurrection.  We will be resurrected to bodies that are superficially like the ones we have now.  When Jesus appeared to the disciples, He came in what seemed to be a normal body.  He invited them to touch the scars left by the crucifixion.  He asked for something to eat.  All of this was done to verify that He was a physical being.  Start there.

But it will be physical with a difference.  Jesus was able to move into secure rooms with locked doors.  The sci-fi concept of teleportation comes to mind.  It will be an existence with no pain.  It is safe to assume that the sex drive will be trumped by something better.  There will be no marriage.  If we live eternally there will be no need for children.  There are many indicators of a level of living we cannot understand now, but it will not be ethereal spirits floating around in an eerie void. 

The earth will be redone.  Part of the concept of the end times is the destruction of the earth.  It will be changed just as our bodies will be changed.  A New Jerusalem will be built on a new Earth.  This is where the carnivore lion will lie down with the herbivorous lamb.  We won’t need the sun because the glory of God will light everything. 

It is going to be an existence that is so wonderful and different we cannot comprehend it.  In trying to explain it to my son I pointed out that when he was two years old he could spend hours playing with his blocks.  Surfing the internet would have been beyond his comprehension.  Now he can’t remember what he found so fascinating about those blocks.  Take that difference, multiply it by infinity and you begin to approach what eternal life will be like.  Keep in mind it is being prepared by Jesus who is the creative God of the Universe.  We will not have a chance to get bored.

Compare that to what the Koran describes.  My memory has a picture of kicking back in a hammock under some palm trees with a stream of wine and lots of dates served by beautiful young women.  That might do me for an afternoon but not for an eternity.

The eastern religions have a long series of incarnations in which you strive to reach of point of goodness in which you pass into Nirvana and cease to be aware because awareness is misery.

We believe in an afterlife with our individuality intact as we surf the eternal internet with instant downloads, awesome interactions and the inventor of the whole thing cheering us on.  It will bring new meaning to intuitive.

Plan on it.  See you there?

homo unius libri

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.